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A Christmas Markets Holiday in Venice, Northern Italy & Austria

A Magical Winter Tour of Venice, Bolzano and Merano + Innsbruck, Austria!

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Priced From
$4,798 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

Exploring Medieval Christmas Markets and
Holiday Treasures in Northern Italy and Austria

On this very special Culinary Adventure you will explore the numerous Christmas markets in Bolzano, Merano, Verona and Venice…including a full day visiting the famous Christmas market in Innsbruck, Austria. Upon arrival into Verona on your first day, you will be driven up from the Veneto region into the lesser known, but equally beautiful South Tyrol province of Northern Italy. This area could be dubbed as a region of fortresses of both mountains and men, as the sunny side of the Alps experienced a long, arduous history of fighting between the Latin and Nordic territories throughout time. Castles and walled cities, remnants of military forts from the First and Second World Wars, Roman ruins and prehistoric dwellings can all be visited here. As Trentino is not yet on the mass tourism map, you can have the opportunity to explore this authentic destination, which is happy to open its doors to share its traditions at Christmas time. The picturesque villages wait to host you and teach you to make some of the hearty dishes cherished during those chilly winter days. Your tour has been designed to introduce you to a magical time in the medieval villages of Northern Italy, allowing you to experience hands-on cooking focused on holiday recipes, wine tastings, product tastings, daily excursions…and shopping! If you love the holiday season, then you must join us on this incredible sojourn through the winter wonderlands of Northern Italy and Austria.

A Christmas Markets Holiday in Venice, Northern Italy & Austria

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ Testimonials
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights, 7 Days Accommodations
Round-trip Transfers (Verona & Venice)
Licensed Tour Host & Guides During Tour
6 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Alpine Farmhouse Visit with Tastings
Dolomites Christmas Cooking Class
Merano Christmas Markets Grappa Tasting
Distillery Tour with Tastings
Hands-On Christmas Baking Class
Innsbruck, Austria Christmas Markets Tour
Hofburg Palace Tour in Innsbruck
Bolzano Christmas Markets Excursion
Mulled Wine Tasting in Bolzano
Guided Venice Markets Tour with Bacaro
Venice Christmas Fair Excursion
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
AVAILABLE DATES
Christmas 2022 Weeks: November 30th to December 6th; December 7th to 13th; December 14th to December 20th – Christmas 2023 Weeks: November 29th to December 5th; December 6th to December 12th; December 13th to December 19th.
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Arrival into Verona | Transfer to Senale | Welcome Dinner Once you arrive at the Verona Porta Nuova Train Station, your tour leader will welcome you and bring you to the private transportation that will take you to your hotel located in the small, charming town of Senale on the Nonsberg plateau. This beautiful mountain village has welcomed travelers to a small monastery hospice since 1194. After you have settled in, meet for a "Bordy", a welcome herbal drink prepared to the recipe of Hildegard von Bingen, followed by a welcome dinner, where you will enjoy a five-course meal in the Cervo Restaurant.
Day 2
Northern Italian Breakfast Enjoy a special Tyrolean breakfast served in the restaurant daily. Each morning the offerings change with a range of fresh fruit juices, homemade jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly made cakes and sumptuous hot and cold dishes using produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot.
Alpine Farmhouse Bakery & Dairy | Lunch | Winter in the Dolomites Christmas Cooking Class Dinner This morning you will meet your host for a gentle walk through the forest to the nearby Roatnockerhof farmhouse. Agriculture has always been the mainstay of the economy in Alta Val di Non. The father and son team at the organic Roatnockerhof farm prepare the traditional mountain breads daily and delicious raw milk cheeses. This is a step back in time as you witness the threshing and sorting of grains by a 19th century machine which is still used to achieve the best quality grains for baking their breads. It used to be essential for the inhabitants of the Alps to prepare non-perishable food supplies for the long winter months. The sour dough dry breads made of rye, wheat and spelt as well as cumin, bread clover, fennel and sometimes aniseed are often eaten together with cheese, locally smoked sausages and ham. A glass of local red wine or elder berry juice make the perfect accompaniment over lunch. After lunch enjoy time at your leisure. In the early evening try your hand at making some of the traditional, wintry dishes Trentino is known for and then enjoy your dinner together after the course.
Day 3
Northern Italian Breakfast Enjoy a special Tyrolean breakfast served in the restaurant daily. Each morning the offerings change with a range of fresh fruit juices, homemade jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly made cakes and sumptuous hot and cold dishes using produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot.
Excursion to Christmas Markets in Merano | Grappa Tasting | Christmas Baking Class with Dinner Christmas cheer is in the air! Wrap up warm to visit the charming city of Merano and see its Christmas market on the banks of the Passer River, along with the most important sites in this old spa town loved by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The private guide will take you on a walking tour to see its elegant buildings, the Gothic parish church of St Nicholas, the Kurhaus and shopping arcades on the 13th century Laubengasse. Have some time to do a little shopping and lunching on your own before the private transfers and tour leader pick you up for the afternoon visits and class, first to a distillery to discover how locals restore the fire in their veins through the warming range of traditional 'Treber' or grappa made from the marc of local grapes and distillates from local fruits and wild bitter herbs. On return to Senale enjoy a baking class before dinner together.
Day 4
Northern Italian Breakfast Enjoy a special Tyrolean breakfast served in the restaurant daily. Each morning the offerings change with a range of fresh fruit juices, homemade jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly made cakes and sumptuous hot and cold dishes using produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot.
Excursion to Innsbruck Christmas Market | Hofburg Palace Tour | Traditional Tyrolean Dinner Bundle up! You're heading to the Alps! After breakfast, the private transfers will take you to Innsbruck, Austria. First have a guided tour of the Imperial Palace. The Hofburg Palace was completed in the 1500s, but the aesthetic that has been carried through to contemporary times can be attributed to Empress Maria Theresa who lived there during the 18th century. She was the only female to rule during the reign of the Habsburgs and her fifteenth child was the infamous Marie Antoinette. Following the tour have some time lunching on your own before time to visit the city's Christmas market, considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic in the entire Alpine region! It is located in the Old Town, in front of the famous Golden Roof and surrounded by beautifully preserved historic facades. Walking through the market, you will find Christmas ornaments, handicrafts and other winter treats. Taste some kiachln (traditional, hot donuts) to keep you warm while you mingle with the locals and peruse the stalls. In the late afternoon the transfers will take you back to the hotel in Senale for a traditional dinner to mark the final evening in the Tyrol.
Day 5
Northern Italian Breakfast Enjoy a special Tyrolean breakfast served in the restaurant daily. Each morning the offerings change with a range of fresh fruit juices, homemade jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly made cakes and sumptuous hot and cold dishes using produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot.
Excursion to the Christmas Markets in Bolzano | Lunch | Arrival in Venice In the northern part of the region, where German is spoken and the Christmas atmosphere fills the wintery air, the city of Bolzano hosts one of the biggest Christmas markets in Italy. The private transfer will drop you in the center so you can enjoy a walking tour before having some time to wander the lovely narrow streets for some shopping and stopping at the various sites and cafés for a hot cider or tea. The tour leader will accompany you for a cup of the most wonderful drink of all: a hot, mulled wine that you can sip as you stroll. You will enjoy lunch in a Bolzano tavern before the private transfer to the beautiful city of Venice, where you will be delivered to your hotel close to St Mark's Square.
Day 6
European Breakfast Start your day with a smile as you enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with a selection of fresh, local produce and seasonal ingredients served in the plush setting of the hotel's restaurant.
Guided Markets Tour | Venice Christmas Fair | Bacaro Lunch In this Merchants of Venice tour, enjoy a trip to the belly of Venice exploring the Rialto Markets. Learn the secrets of the day's catch and enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic city centre market before a light lunch and cichete. For centuries Venetian merchants would talk business over cichete and ombra – a euphemism referring to grabbing a quick bite and something to drink in the shade. This Venetian style tapas is traditionally served in "bacari" where you can still enjoy these bite-sized delicacies, including tiny tramezzini, triangular sandwiches stuffed to bursting. After lunch join your tour leader to see Venice's traditional arts, Murano glass jewelry, marbled paper and Carnival masks at Venice's Christmas Fair in Campo Santo Stefano before free time to explore the narrow alleys crisscrossed by canals.
Day 7
European Breakfast Start your day with a smile as you enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with a selection of fresh, local produce and seasonal ingredients served in the plush setting of the hotel's restaurant.
Check-Out and Departure After breakfast a private transfer will take you to Venice Marco Polo Airport, or to the designated Venice Train Station, for your return home, or to other points along your grand journey. Buon viaggio!
Hotel Gasthof Zum Hirschen
Welcoming guests since 1194, this former pilgrim's sanctuary has been in the delightful Kofler-Mocatti family for three generations. The hotel's large rooms have been entirely modernized in 2017, decorated with natural wood, modern lighting and Tyrolean style duvet bedding. The ensuite modern bathrooms have large rainforest showers. The family's excellent mountain restaurant Cervo has been serving wayfarers for centuries with fine food, founded on great ingredients and the Slow Food philosophy. Using locally farmed produce from the family farm, this is a wonderful place to discover the mountain recipes of the South Tyrol and its Austrian style patisserie, such as fresh strudel and "Kniakiachln" (fried dough pastries). The tranquillity of the mountain village lifestyle here is only punctuated by the peal of the church bell. The experienced staff at the Zum Hirschen are always friendly and attentive. Relax in the hotel's mountain retreat Wine-Lounge. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is provided from 8am-11pm daily.
Ca' Pisani Hotel
The upscale, 4-star Ca' Pisani Hotel is located in the art district of Venice, within walking distance to all the city's major sights. This beautifully renovated 14th-century palace has marble steps and potted trees at its entrance, big glass doors opening onto a lobby featuring exposed brick, polished tile floors and charming wooden beams. Dorsoduro is great for experiencing the flavor of the real Venice. Art lovers will appreciate that the Guggenheim Collection is within a five-minute walk, the Punta della Dogana art museum is a 10-minute walk, and St. Mark's Square is just 15 minutes from the hotel. All rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars and free WiFi. English speaking staff.
Venice, ItalyVerona, ItalySenale San Felice, ItalyBolzano, ItalyMerano, ItalyInnsbruck, Austria
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
WHAT A GREAT TOUR!!! Please allow Cindy and I to express to you all just how much we enjoyed our Christmas Markets tour with Epitourean! In particular, I wish to point out the extraordinary efforts of Cinzia (tour host). In every instance she was on top of the situation, was extremely knowledgeable about all cultural, historical and gastronomic details of our incredible journey. We look forward to taking another tour with you in the future.
John and Cindy Lu - December 2021
Winner
OUTSTANDING
CULINARY TRAVEL
Category
Member of ASTA Member of ATTA